GWR Australia has unveiled the first of three entries it will be campaigning in this year’s Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour – a brand-new BMW M2 Competition to be raced by brothers Ben and Michael Kavich and supported by Yellow Pages and Race for a Cure.
The Kavich brothers have competed in every Bathurst 6 Hour since 2016. The BMW M2 replaces the previous Mitsubishi Evo X, which they have raced since 2017, and sees the Kavichs entered in Class X – the fastest class in the event.
“The Evo has served us adequately, but the reality is it’s a car that is approaching 15 years old and has become outclassed by the newer machinery,” Ben Kavich said.
“When you look at the results over the last few years, BMWs have been the cars of choice for the outright contenders and we’re very excited to be racing the M2 Competition, built by Garth and his team at GWR, who have a wealth of experience with building production cars for long-distance races.
“The running gear in the M2 is fundamentally the same as the M3s and M4s that have won the race recently, but we’re expecting it to be more nimble over the top of the Mountain.”
The Race for a Cure program was founded by Ben Kavich’s wife Toula after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. The program generates valuable funding and awareness for lifesaving clinical research conducted by Breast Cancer Trials, and since the 2017 Bathurst 6 Hour, it has raised more than $115,000 from generous donors.
Breast cancer has also affected Ben and Michael’s mother and grandmother and they see Race for a Cure as an initiative to help prevent the grief caused for Australian families by the cancer.
“Breast cancer prevention is a cause very close to our hearts, so it’s great we’re able to use our passion for motorsport and business activities to make a positive difference,” Kavich said.
The Yellow Pages backing is part of the family motorsport legacy as well – Yellow Pages sponsorship adorned their father Tony Kavich’s Mazda RX7 and Holden Commodore race cars in the Bathurst 1000 during the 1980s. Kavich said the 6 Hour is, in many ways, a throwback to those days.
“Back in the 1980s, the Bathurst 1000 had different classes, and privateer racers like Dad were able to compete in the same race as legends like Peter Brock and Dick Johnson,” he said.
“The 6 Hour harks back to that era – we go racing for fun, but at the 6 Hour we’ll be competing against some of the best drivers in the country like Shane Van Gisbergen and Will Davison.
“It’s an amazing experience to share the track with those sorts of drivers and you learn a lot by racing with them – it helps us improve our driving.”
Team owner Garth Walden said the BMW M2 has been an exciting project for his team.
“We enjoy working with the Kavichs because of their passion for the sport and the cause they’re supporting,” Walden said.
“In standard trim, the BMW M2 is a well-developed car and it has all the ingredients to be well suited to Mount Panorama: a good power-to-weight ratio for the long straights and nimble handling for the technical sections at the top of the Mountain.” The 2022 Bathurst 6 Hour will be held in its traditional Easter long weekend slot, 15-17 April.